The moment we felt like we made it in life (okay, in our entertaining life)? When we finally sprung for a bar cart. Yes, yes, it sounds dramatic, but for a crew who loves a good cocktail hour, not having a signature bar cart made it feel like there was a missing piece.
And nothing pulls a party together like a beautiful bar cart except one that's perfectly organized, so we're sharing a few pointers for how to make your bar car stand out. Here are ten tips for styling a gorgeous bar cart:
Choose Your Best Bar Cart
First things first, you need said bar cart to style it! Make sure you get one that fits your style and fits well in your space. If you plan on putting it in a room with a lot of square tables, go for a round or oval-shaped bar cart. If you want it to be a statement piece, go for a modern lucite number or something that's a looker.
The only thing we insist upon? That your cart has wheels because: a) it's not really a bar cart without wheels and b) our ultimate entertaining dream is having a cocktail party where the bar comes to you!
Even before the team at Pantone declared Greenery the color of the year, we were totally onboard. From our office chairs to our vintage ice bucket and vases, we were drawn to this color long ago, which is why our summer bar cart is centered around that very color.
But you don't need to reshop your whole home to make your bar cart stand out. Just pick a central color palette (ours are greenery, copper, and grey) and run with it.
Embrace The Edit
Unless you drink one cocktail ever, most bar carts likely won't hold everything you need. So don't try to fit every bottle you ever bought and instead go in with a game plan that works both in terms of visuals and for making a cocktail or three. Just make sure it's properly stocked with these bar essentials.
If you're having a party and drinks are involved, you'll also want to keep your guests well fed. That's why you'll want to have at least one snack on the bar cart so people can mix and munch all night long.
Even when the bar cart is not in use, it should be in use. Meaning, it should be one of the standout pieces in your dining room or living room. So pull out your most unique and/or vintage glassware (we love most everything from Juliska) and place it on the cart so it's on full display.
Soften Up Hard Surfaces
Between shakers, muddlers, bottles, and glassware, there's nonstop hard surfaces on most bar carts. Counteract all that with some softness be it in the form of linen cocktail napkins or a vase of delicate flowers.
Boost With Bar Books
Add some height to your shelves by using books to prop up bowls such as ashtrays or catchalls. And, if you're looking for books that actually serve a purpose (which you should!), we suggest stocking up on a couple classics: The Bar Book or The PDT Cocktail Book.
Now that you've got your bar cart down, check out these summery garnish ideas to make your Happy Hour extra Insta-worthy!
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Aida is a food and travel expert, on-camera host, author, and the founder of Salt & Wind and Salt & Wind Travel. She's a California native who has always had a global perspective in her cooking and in life. Over the years, she has visited more than 35 countries and 35 states and has lived in Europe and across the United States. She is on a mission to help food lovers taste the world.